California State Athletic Commission head Andy Foster will today hear arguments on the validity of a contract tying UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to a management firm.
A ruling should come late next week on an arbitration request made earlier this month by Fight Tribe Management. But Rousey’s legal representative is digging in for a fight.
“This might take a while,” Rousey’s attorney, Steven Bash, today told MMAjunkie, adding the UFC champ will be in attendance at the meeting, which takes place in Los Angeles.
On March 7 Fight Tribe filed a request for arbitration in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking a neutral party to decide whether Rousey is legally bound to a representation agreement it signed with the fighter. In California, contractual disputes between managers and fighters are subject to the state’s business and professions laws, and the CSAC has the power to adjudicate disputes.
As Bash previously told Sherdog.com, Rousey’s position is that her agreement with Fight Tribe doesn’t hold up under California law. The lawyer declined to go into specifics about the nature of the fighter’s issues with the management firm.
“Maybe it all comes out later in the future, but right now, like in any relationship that comes to an end, there is an emotional component to it,” he said.
“The fact is, that the representation agreement is voidable and null and not legally enforceable,” he later added. “Once we get a determination, then we’ll go from there, but that’s really what the issue is.”
Foster, aided by two California deputy attorney generals, will receive briefs on the case from Rousey and Fight Tribe’s legal reps, and witnesses will be called. The meeting is not to exceed four hours. Foster will then weigh the evidence and make a decision that’s legally binding.
However, a source close to Fight Tribe said CSAC’s decision is limited in its jurisdiction, or where it was enforceable in court. The source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The commission’s decision will be public record.
At this past month’s UFC 170 event, Rousey (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) defended her bantamweight title with a first-round TKO win over Sara McMann (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). She is expected to fight this summer against an opponent to be determined, though all signs point to a likely meeting with No. 1 contender Cat Zingano (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
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